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Maternal and neonatal health

A brief guide to maternal and neonatal health challenges, and their impact globally and in Bangladesh.


  • Every 11 seconds, a pregnant women or newborn dies somewhere in the world.1
  • The vast majority of maternal deaths occur in low-resource settings, and most could have been prevented.
  • Over 290,000 women died of maternity-related causes in 2017.
  • Most maternal deaths are caused by preventable conditions such as: 
  • post-partum haemorrhage (blood loss after birth)
  • eclampsia(seizures or convulsions) or pre-eclampsia (increased blood pressure)
  • puerperal sepsis (infections following childbirth)
  • complications from unsafe abortion
  • obstructedlabour. 
  • Young adolescents face a higher risk of complications and death as a result of pregnancy than other women.
  • Between 2000 and 2017, maternal mortality worldwide dropped by about 38%.2
  • Each year, 2.4 million neonates die globally, mostly from preterm birth, birth asphyxia or severe infections.3
  • Each year, nearly 2 million babies are stillborn.4


In Bangladesh…

  • In 2017, there were 5,100 maternal deaths, down from 15,000 in 2000.5
  • The maternal mortality ratio, deaths per 100,000 live births, has fallen from 434 in 2000 to 173 in 2017.
  • Some 77,896 children under five years of age died in 2019.7,8
  • There were around 52,624 neonatal deaths in 2019.



1.     https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/surviving-birth-every-11-seconds-pregnant-woman-or-newborn-dies-somewhere-around

2.     https://data.unicef.org/topic/maternal-health/maternal-mortality/

3.     https://data.unicef.org/resources/levels-and-trends-in-child-mortality/

4.     https://www.who.int/data/gho/indicator-metadata-registry/imr-details/2444

5.     https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.MMR.DTHS?locations=BD

6.     https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.STA.MMRT?locations=BD

7.     https://www.healthdata.org/gbd/2019

8.     https://vizhub.healthdata.org/gbd-compare/